‘Every country to name stadium in honour of Pelé’
SANTOS. — Nutty FIFA president Gianni Infantino has revealed plans to ask every country in the world to name a football stadium after the late, great Pele — who died at the age of 82 on Thursday.
Infantino made the suggestion while speaking to reporters at Pele’s wake in Santos, Brazil.
The out of touch Italian was heavily criticised during the 2022 World Cup, particularly after kicking the tournament off with a bizarre, tone-deaf speech about “feeling gay, disabled, a migrant worker and a woman” in an maddening attempt to defend Qatar, and allowing social media star Salt Bae access to the pitch in the aftermath of Argentina’s victory over France in the final.
Football fans leaped onto social media to deride Infantino’s stadium name suggestion, with one user labelling him “a complete idiot”.
“What is this complete idiot talking about? Such a weird thing to want to do. Let Brazil handle tributes to Pele in the way they see fit and leave everyone else out of it,” one fan tweeted.
“Make him stop, please,” commented another. A third joked: “Infantino continued, ‘Salt Bae will of course make an appearance at each stadium that does so to sprinkle a pinch of Pele’s ashes over the pitch to properly consecrate the grounds,”
Pele, viewed by most as one of the greatest footballers to have ever lived, passed away last week following a lengthy battle with colon cancer, sending the sporting world into mourning.
His body arrived under fireworks in Santos, the city where he spent the majority of his club career, in the early hours of Monday from Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital.
The 82-year-old died on Thursday (December 29) having spent one month in hospital for a respiratory infection and “re-evaluation of the chemotherapy treatment over colon cancer identified in September 2021”.
He won the FIFA World Cup a record three times in 1958, 1962 and 1970, and is Brazil’s joint-top scorer in men’s international football with 77 goals from 92 games. — The Daily Star